Racing Point had an absolute smashing performance during qualifying for the Turkish Grand Prix. Lance Stroll put in a mega showing, taking his first-ever pole position in F1 under ridiculously tricky conditions.
Even though the rain drenched the freshly laid out track, Stroll and his teammate Sergio Perez (P3) were simply brilliant. Despite a disappointing showing in Q1 where they barely managed to stay afloat, they took it to the next level in Q3.
He, like most others, started the final qualifying session on wet tires. However, a switch to the intermediates was what took his performance up a few notches. Interestingly, Racing Point boss Otmar Szafnauer revealed that it was a decision that Stroll himself made.
He said, “It was all about the tire. Lance called it at the beginning of Q3 and said it’s going to be intermediates at the end. He was absolutely right.
“He called it at the very beginning, which is difficult to do. But we put him on the intermediate, and he did the job.”
This wasn’t just a fluke of a performance from Stroll. The Canadian driver has been pretty impressive this season, with a podium finish at Monza his highest point.
However, he had run into some really rotten luck in the past five races with three retirements, a P13 finish, and a withdrawn race, leaving him with zero points gained since Monza.
Starting on pole could signify a change in fortunes, and Stroll would definitely love that. Especially if that means he gets to taste some champagne in Turkey.
However, it is also important to remember that this was a total team performance, as Otmar went on to point out.
Szafnauer added, “Very, Very good. Great day for us, we got the tires working. We did a lot of work overnight, didn’t quite anticipate all the wet weather, but even all the work we did on the dry set up helped.
“Hopefully we’ll have a good race tomorrow.”
By getting both cars into the top 3, Racing Point have put themselves in the best possible position to overtake their midfield rivals on the Constructors’ Championship table.
If the Silverstone-based outfit end race day just as they ended the qualifying session, they would be very happy indeed.